Singer who developed his own guitar playing style called "Travis picking" and who released hit songs like "So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed" and "Sixteen Tons."
He learned the five-string banjo from his father and from his neighbors, among them the father of the future Everly Brothers. Travis learned picking techniques that allowed bass and melody lines to play at the same time.
He wrote the million-copy-selling "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!" for Tex Williams. His own songs like "Divorce Me C.O.D" and "Three Times Seven" entered the Billboard top ten.
He grew up in Rosewood, Kentucky, the son of a former tobacco farmer who turned to coal mining.